Tag: Kyle Chipchura

Shane Doan

Coyotes’ poor play ‘falls directly on us leaders,’ says Doan


The Arizona Coyotes are experiencing leadership problems this season — just ask them.

Or, read the following quotes from AZCentral:

“Our inconsistency has probably been the most glaring weakness and that pretty much falls directly on us leaders in the room.” — Shane Doan

“I think the leadership has obviously got to step up — that’s the guys we count on every night and that’s the guys we need to step up right now because it’s a bad situation.” — Martin Hanzal

“(The veterans) have to do their job. They can’t just be a nice guy off the ice. They have to actually do the job and be respected on the ice.” — Dave Tippett

It’s clear something’s been wrong in Arizona through the first half of the season (and you could replace “something” with “lots of things.”) Mike Smith has been a nightmare in goal, the players have seemingly abandoned Tippett’s defensive approach and GM Don Maloney’s already played his shake-it-up card when, in the hours following an ugly loss to L.A. in December, he waived Kyle Chipchura, traded Rob Klinkhammer and sent David Schlemko to the minors.

But those were all peripheral moves that affected fringe guys, not core ones. With these recent quotes about leadership issues and underachieving veterans, you have to wonder what’s next.

Antoine Vermette, as we’ve documented thoroughly, could be on the move. Keith Yandle has been on the block for ages and could be again as we draw closer to the March trade deadline, and the Coyotes went out of their way to address Doan rumors via Twitter last week (which many saw as a “you doth protest too much” moment.)

Other veterans could be on the block as well. Martin Erat, David Moss and Zbynek Michalek are all on the wrong side of 30 and UFAs at season’s end; next year, Doan and Yandle are up. With Arizona sitting 13th in the Western Conference and primed to miss the playoffs for a third straight year, the question has to be asked: Is now the time to break up the core?

Maloney likes Coyotes’ chemistry, but ‘we’re in a results business, not a Kumbaya business’

Don Maloney

In the wake of last week’s shakeup — trading Rob Klinkhammer, waiving Kyle Chipchura, demoting David Schlemko — Arizona GM Don Maloney took a look at his roster.

While he still liked the group dynamic, he also realized that doesn’t count for much.

“We need to show hopefully small improvement, and I think it’s really our execution,” Maloney said, per the Arizona Republic. “I still think we have a top-level coaching staff. I think our team chemistry is good but what does that mean?

“We’re in a results business, not a Kumbaya business.”

The results haven’t been there lately for Arizona. The club has just two wins in its last 10 and is mired in a seven-game losing streak at home, all of which has seen the Coyotes plummet to 13th in the Western Conference. While Arizona isn’t throwing in the towel on this season and the playoffs, it does appear as though a youth movement is underway.

Which brings us to assets currently on Arizona’s roster.

On Tuesday, Maloney acknowledged that the still-pending Coyotes sale — reports of a dead deal with Andrew Barroway surfaced yesterday, only for Coyotes ownership to say everything’s still on track — have hamstrung him with regards to offering new contracts to his players.

“I don’t want to say halt the process, but slow down the process in regards to anybody we might want to talk contractually going forward,” is how Maloney described the situation.

Two of the biggest names on Arizona’s contractual front are Antoine Vermette (a pending UFA) and Keith Yandle (one year remaining on his deal). Vermette’s already at the center of trade talks; Yandle’s been in the rumor mill for a while, and could be the top defensive target at the trade deadline, should Maloney make him available.

As such, the formula seems simple: If the Coyotes don’t get the results, the group — no matter how well it gets along — will likely be broken up.

With Arizona in shakeup mode, more trade calls could be coming

Don Maloney

A sixth straight home loss was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Following Thursday’s listless 4-0 defeat to L.A. at Gila River Arena, the Arizona Coyotes shook things up in a major way (by Coyotes standards, anyway) on Friday: Kyle Chipchura was waived, Rob Klinkhammer was traded and David Schlemko was sent to the minors.

On their way up? Andrew Campbell, a 26-year-old defenseman that’s appeared in just three NHL games and 22-year-old Jordan Martinook, the club’s second-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft who’s yet to make his big-league debut.

Those two will join the likes of Connor Murphy (21 years old) Tobias Rieder (21), Brandon McMillan (24), Michael Stone (24) and Brandon Gormley (22, on injured reserve) as some of the young faces on the active roster.

The shakeup shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The Coyotes held a team meeting following last night’s embarrassing loss and, on Saturday, GM Don Maloney reportedly threatened to ship out some of the team’s players.

It’s the most definitive move Maloney’s made in recent months.

The organization has repeatedly flip-flopped on philosophy this season; in September, Maloney said Arizona would make a “concerted effort” to give young prospects a shot at making the NHL, and gave a sobering preview of what he expected for the year.

“We can’t sit here and say we match up, No. 1 line to No. 1 line, with many teams in the West,” he said, per Fox Sports Arizona. “But maybe we can control the top lines and outperform the lower lines.”

That approach didn’t last long.

In early October, the club scrapped the proposed youth movement — sending first-rounders Max Domi to junior and Henrik Samuelsson back to the AHL — because, according to Maloney, the Coyotes “need to be a playoff team.”

“We just think for our franchise right now, we have to be competitive,” he explained, per the Arizona Republic. “We need to be a playoff team. That’s what’s going to get people excited and in the building.

“Nobody has an appetite to just throw in the towel.”

In late October, Maloney flip-flopped again. He said the team was “not anywhere good enough,” adding “we need to get better or things are going to change around here.”

Last week, the GM seemed to be at his breaking point with his struggling team, one that currently sits second from bottom in the Pacific Division and 13th in the Western Conference.

“When you take a hard look at where you’re at relative to the competition and when you take a look at what’s happening around the league, I think that’s where we need to take this team,” Maloney said, per FOX Sports Arizona. “The team speed and tempo and pace that we play at it is not as high as it needs to be. The way you get more quickness is generally with younger players and you see that all around the league.

He added, “The last three to four years, we’ve been reaching down to older, veteran players and that’s how we started the season, but we haven’t gotten the results we had hoped to get.”

Given today’s moves, all eyes will probably turn to two of Arizona’s key assets: Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle. Vermette’s a UFA at season’s end and already at the center of trade talks; Yandle’s rumored to have been on the block for what feels like three years, and is only under contract for one more season.

All of this, of course, comes with the franchise purchase by Andrew Barroway still looming. The transaction will reportedly be approved soon, at which time Arizona could make even more moves in an effort to further embrace the youth movement — or, make a potential foray into the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel sweepstakes.

Coyotes waive Chipchura


One year after posting the best season of his career, Kyle Chipchura is on waivers.

The Coyotes made the move on Friday, waiving the 28-year-old center that’d been with the club since 2011. The move comes after Chipchura played 9:39 in Thursday’s ugly 4-0 loss at home to the Kings; previously, he’d sat as a healthy scratch on a few occasions.

A decent two-way checking forward, Chipchura posted a career-high 20 points in 80 games for the Coyotes last year, despite the fact he averaged less than 10 minutes per night.

The decision to place him on waivers is perhaps another nod to GM Don Maloney’s proposed youth movement; last month, the club waived another veteran (defenseman David Schlemko) and has been slowly integrating younger players into the lineup, like Tobias Rieder, Brandon McMillan and Michael Stone.

Chipchura is in the second of a three-year deal that carries an $875,000 cap hit. It stands to reason he could be picked up off waivers from another club, especially given the need for center depth across the NHL.

Coyotes pass Stars, yet blown lead vs. Oilers could be costly

Justin Schultz, Thomas Greiss, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Lauri Korpikoski

Friday may be remembered as a night of missed opportunities for two playoff contenders, at least if things don’t go their way.

Earlier on, the Chicago Blackhawks scored a game-winner with about four seconds left in regulation to leave the Columbus Blue Jackets empty-handed on the evening. The Phoenix Coyotes saw a potential two-point gain against the Edmonton Oilers turn into a 3-2 shootout loss thanks in part to this mistake by Thomas Greiss:

The bad news for the Blue Jackets and Coyotes is that they saw greater gains slip through their fingers. The more optimistic side is that both remain seated in the final wild card spot in the East and West respectively.

The end of periods generally plagued Phoenix on Friday. Justin Schultz gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead with 45 seconds left in the first period, which Phoenix overcame with goals by Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Kyle Chipchura before Sam Gagner capitalized on Greiss’ error.

Even with that disappointing finish, the Coyotes did indeed move into eighth place in the West. They have a one-point standings lead over the Dallas Stars (who hold two games in hand and some tiebreaker advantages).


Here is a quick look at the Coyotes’ and Stars’ remaining schedules:

Phoenix: April 8 – at Columbus, April 10 – at Nashville, April 12 – vs. San Jose and April 13 – that big game against Dallas in Phoenix.

Dallas: Saturday – at Tampa Bay, Sunday – at Florida, April 8 – vs. Nashville, April 9 – vs. Columbus, April 11 – vs. St. Louis and April 13 – that big game against the Coyotes in Phoenix.

As you can see, there are still plenty of variables (the Stars facing two back-to-back sets and that whole season finale bit), so this is far from over. Still, that Gagner goal/Greiss gaffe may be something Coyotes fans remember wistfully if things don’t work out.